Lonestar Departs For Crucial Battle Amid Controversies

MONROVIA, Montserrado – The national football team has departed the country for a crucial Gabon 2018 African Nations Cup qualification task against Tunisia scheduled for September 3.

A win in Tunisia will see Liberia returning to the African Nations Cup after a 14-year absence.

The Lone Star departed on Saturday, August 27 and has arrived in Morocco, where players are expected to attend a five-day training camp and play a friendly match against a local Moroccan club.

For the two matches, Head Coach James Debbah has released a list of players that includes seven local players, two unattached players, and 16 foreign-based players.

The listing has seen the recall of Lithuanian-based midfielder, Murphy Oscar Dorley; Serbian-based defender, Omega Roberts; Senegalese-based forward, Van Dave Harmon; and the unsigned Dominic Tarpeh. Meanwhile, striker William Jebor, midfielder Theo Weeks, South African-based forward Anthony Laffor are among the notable players invited.

Preparation for the games has not been without controversy.

Francis Forkey Doe, the leading goal scorer in the Malaysian Super League with 15 goals, was not included in the first list of players that was released. However, after pressure from the media and fans, the Liberia Football Association in a press conference held on Monday, August 29, 2016, announced that the 31-year-old striker had been sent a last minute invitation for the match.

However, Doe turned the down the invitation. In a conversation with UNMIL Radio’s Martina Brooks, he said because he was initially left out, he would not answer any last minute call as his club has not been made aware.

In another controversy, prior to the team’s departure, several weeks of training sessions were held without the assistant coach, Kelvin Sebwe, who later stated he was not informed about those sessions.

The former AS Monaco and AEK Athens midfielder refused to show up for remaining sessions and refused to travel with the team to Morocco.

See the full list of invited players below.

Tommy Songo-LISCR FC, Liberia

James Gallay- Watanga FC, Liberia

Hilton Varney- BYC, Liberia

Trokon Zeon-LPRC Oilers, Liberia

Solomon Grimes-Unattached

Dominic Tarpeh Doe-Unattached

Dikir Glay- Persiba Balikpapan, Indonesia

Omega Roberts- FK Donji Srem, Serbia

Joel Johnson- Charlotte Independence, USA

Gizzie Dorbor- Hapoel Afula, Israel


Theo Weeks Lewis- Gabala FK, Azerbaijan

Murphy Oscar Dorley-FK Trakai, Lithuania

Van Dave Harmon- Dembairs SC, Senegal

Saah Nyumah- LISCR, Liberia

Dioh Williams- Gefle IF, Sweden

Anthony Laffor- Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa


William Jebor- Wydad Athletic Club, Morocco

Francis Forkey Doe- Felda United, Malaysia

Mark Paye- BYC, Liberia

Seku Conneh- Bethlehem Steel, USA

Dauda Bortu- SK Baerum, Norway

Emile Damey- Nunawading City, Australia

Sam Johnson- Wuhan Zall, China

Edward Junior Wilson- Persipura Jayapura, Indonesia

Featured photo by T. Kla Wesley Jr.

T Kla Wesley Jr.

T. Kla Wesley Jr. is a member of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia.

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